Here we are — the halfway point of the NFL season and six weeks away from the start of the fantasy postseason for many. Injuries are making lineup decisions harder — sometimes easier in the committee world of some positions — and bye weeks leave us scrambling for the best start at some positions. Here are a few updates to hopefully help you make that push toward the fantasy postseason.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Peyton Hillis is set to return to the lineup for the first time since Week 3 after an ankle injury has kept him on the sidelines. When he was active for the Chiefs the first three weeks, Hillis touched the ball 11, 13 and three times for games of 24, 91 and 11 yards. Kansas City is 0-3 in the games since Hills departed and has scored 36 points combined. This is no way to suggest Hills’ presence has anything to do with the Chiefs’ record, but at 1-5 on the season, don’t put it past them to try and find any kind of spark. And perhaps that spark could be started against a Raiders team is 24th against fantasy running backs with six touchdowns allowed to the position. The ultimate desperation play for both you and the Chiefs, but one that I would not be surprised to see finish in low double digits in PPR formats.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks
A knee issue. Matthew Stafford at quarterback. And the Seattle secondary. This is one of those weeks where you wish you could find a reason to bench Calvin Johnson. You have three pretty good ones already mentioned, but you just cannot sit Megatron. The Seahawks have faced seven double-digit targeted receivers already this season; a stat Johnson has in the last six games. Those seven have combined for 41 catches for 474 yards and three scores — or an average of 15.2 fantasy points in a PPR. While the Seahawks are the fourth-best team against fantasy receivers and Megatron is just the 15th-best receiver in PPR formats, I would take 15.2 from a guy that’s already averaging 17.2 per game.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
Just in case you thought about starting Doug Baldwin against a depleted secondary, don’t. He is out today with a high ankle sprain. Baldwin should not be on any fantasy roster at this point. Could this clear up the picture for another Seattle receiver to step up? It is unlikely. While their defense is fourth-best against fantasy receivers, the Seahawks offense is ranked fourth worst at the position. No Seattle receiver has more than five catches in a game and no receiver has more than 74 yards in a game. Detroit has been generous to receivers this season, allowing double-digit days in PPR to nine of the 19 receivers it has faced (minimum three targets). Sidney Rice is the only Seahawk worth taking a flier on and feeling a little less than miserable about it.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter